Skip to main content

Full text of "Eminent Living Geologists. Alfred Harker"

See other formats

Gkol. Mag., 1917. 


From a photograph hy Elliott <&' Fry. 




No. VII.—JULY, 1917. 


I.—Eminent Living Geologists. 

Alfred Harxer, ALA., LL.D. (McGill), F.R.S., President of the 
Geological Society of London 1916-17, Fellow of St. John’s 
College, and Lecturer in Petrology in the University of Cambridge. 


R. ALFRED HARKER was born at Hull, in Yorkshire, on 

v February 19, 1859 ; his name may thus be appropriately 
added, as an “ eminent geologist”, to the county which claims 
amongst its sons the name of Sedgwick, the Woodwardian Professor 
of Geology in the University of Cambridge (1818-73), the first who 
taught modern geology; and famous as having had such historians 
as William Smith (the “Father of English Geology”) and his nephew, * 
Professor John Phillips; also as the birthplace of Sorby, Williamson, 
Strickland, Hudleston, and many others. 

Ho had, as a boy, a taste for chemistry and natural history, and 
made his first acquaintance with geology in his holiday wanderings 
along the Yorkshire coast, with John Phillips’ writings as his guide. 

It was as a student of mathematics that Harker went up to 
Cambridge, and was entered at St. John’s College in 1878. But he 
soon found, in the genial Professor McKennv Hughes, 1 one who was 
ever ready to welcome any “freshman ” with geological leanings, and 
Harker became one of the first members of the Sedgwick Club, founded 
about that time by Watts and others of his contemporaries. 

After graduating in the Mathematical Tripos as 8th Wrangler, in 
January, 1882, Harker came back to geology by way of physics and 
mineralogy, and was at once offered a teaching post on the geological 
staff. As demonstrator and afterwards lecturer, he has been 
responsible for the teaching of petrology at Cambridge for more than 
thirty years; but for a long time the almost total want of accom¬ 
modation and equipment in the old Woodwardian. Museum made it 
impossible to carry out this work in a satisfactory manner. 

Alfred Harker was elected a Fellow of St. John’s in 1885. In 
those days this College, owing doubtless in part to Professor Bonney’s 
influence, was notably strong in Geology. Of the last nine Presidents 
of the Geological Society five have been Johnians. 

As a field-geologist his earliest original work was done in North 

1 Written on May 10. Our dear friend Professor Hughes passed away 
on June 9 ; see Obituary Notice, p. 334 .—Ed. Geol. Mag. 




Eminent Living Geologists- 

Wales, first on the cleavage structure of the slates, and then on the 
Ordovician igneous rocks. The results of the latter work were in 
part embodied in the Sedgwick Prize Essay for 1888. 

From 1889 to 1893, excepting a visit to America, Harker’s 
vacations were spent mostly with his friend and fellow-Johnian, 
I. E. Marr, in the Lake District. Their aim was principally to 
decipher the geological structure and sequence of that district in 
the light of what had been learnt in other disturbed areas. This 
problem is perhaps not to be finally solved without a complete 
re-survey of the ground ; but some conclusions were reached, and 
memoirs on the Shap granite and its metamorphism and on the 
Carrock Fell intrusions were also among the results of those 
pleasant years. 

In 1895, by the good offices of Sir Archibald Geikie, Harker became 
attached to the Geological Survey of Scotland, and was engaged for 
ten years in the investigation of part of Skye and of the Small Isles 
to the south. The summer half of the year was spent in mapping 
and the winter half in the study of material gathered in the field. 
The results of this work are contained in the official maps and 
memoirs, including a special memoir on The Tertiary Igneous Rocks 
of Skye . 

In 1905 he quitted the Geological Survey for other engagements. 
The geological department at Cambridge was now housed in the new 
Sedgwick Museum, and teaching duties, together with the charge of 
the petrological section of the Museum, had become more engrossing. 
Dr. Harker found time, however, for frequent visits to the Highlands 
and other parts of Britain with occasional excursions abroad. He 
had made it part of his programme as a teacher of students to bring 
together, as far as possible, complete representative collections of 
rock-specimens in the Museum at Cambridge, which now possesses 
large series from many British areas, as well as from Norway, Canada, 
and other countries. The collection of rock-slices also has grown 
until it now numbers more than 12,000. 

Dr. Harker had written in 1895, chiefly to meet the needs of his 
own students, a Textbook of Petrography, and this has been revised 
from time to time in subsequent editions. In 1909 appeared The 
Natural History of Igneous Rocks , which aimed especially at 
interesting geologists in the genetic aspect of petrolog}^. 

In February, 1907, on the occasion of his presenting the Murchison 
Medal to Mr. Alfred Harker, F.H.S., Sir Archibald Geikie, then 
President of the Geological Society, said: “Tlie Murchison Medal 
has been assigned to you as a testimony of the Council’s appreciation 
of the importance of your contributions to Petrographical and 
Structural Geology. 

“ You had already distinguished yourself by your studies in cleavage, 
by the zeal and success with which you had thrown yourself into the 
pursuit of petrographical research along those modern paths in which 
this department of our science has been so transformed and enlarged, 
and lastly by the skill which you had shown in the field investigation 
of the ancient igneous rocks of North Wales and of part of the 
Lake District. 


Dr. Alfred Harker, F.R.S. 

“ With this reputation already established and yearly growing, you 
were induced, at my request, to enter the Geological Survey. 
Although the circumstances under which you joined that service 
formed a new departure in its usages, I have always felt that on no 
part of my long connection with the Survey could I look back with 
more satisfaction than on the arrangements which enabled us to 
secure your services. 

“You speedily acquired the skill of a practised surveyor, and among 
the hills of Skye and Rum you had an opportunity of mapping some 
of the most complicated and deeply interesting pieces of volcanic 
geology in this country. Having had from time to time opportunities 
of visiting you on the ground, I can bear witness both to the bodily 
vigour and endurance and to the geological enthusiasm and insight 
with which you climbed crags and peaks on which no geologist had 
set foot before you. The maps and memoirs which you have 
produced of these portions of the Inner Hebrides will always 
remain as a monument of your prowess as a field geologist and 

Another of his fellow-workers writes : “ What specially struck me 
about Harker was his thoroughness. Having started on a piece of 
work he devoted his whole energy to its completion. All else was- 
subordinated to its execution, and one might almost literally say that 
no stone was left unturned which would cast any light upon it.” 

“ He is one of those who believe that for the right understanding 
of a science it is necessary to know something of the history of its 
growth, and with this in view he has accumulated in his library 
a valuable series of works which bear upon the early history of the 
science of geology and the more recent branch of petrography. 

“ Harker's time has been largely occupied by teaching and research, 
but he has nevertheless contrived to devote much of it to the 
enrichment of the petrographical collections in the Sedgwick 
Museum, and to their arrangement. He has travelled much to 
obtain specimens for this purpose. Of special interest are two 
magnificent collections which he has brought together to illustrate 
genetic connexion of igneous rocks, the one of those of Western 
Scotland, the other of the group rendered classic by the researches of 
Brogger in the Christiania region. 

“Though Harker’s fame rests largely on his petrographical work he 
is also a physical geologist of a very high order, as might be expected 
from one who prefaced his geological career by a mathematical 
training. We may make special mention of the very important 
contribution which he made to the physics of glacial erosion in his 
paper on Ice Erosion in the Cuillin Hills (Skye), which appeared 
in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1901 
(T.R.S.E., vol. xl, pt. ii) ” 

In addition to his service to science, as a Lecturer in Petrology in 
the University, Ur. Harker has published most of the results of his 
investigations, whether in the field, the laboratory, or with the 
microscope, in a permanent form, for the use of geologists generally; 
and the Editor is happy to record that, of his numerous publications, 
fifty are preserved in the pages of the Geological Magazine. 

292 Eminent Living Geologists — 

Dr. Harker received the Wollaston Donation Fund, 1896 ; the Murchison 
Medal, 1907. He was President of Section C, British Association, at 
Portsmouth, 1911. He has also kept up connexion with his native county, 
and was President of the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union, 1911, and President 
of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 1912-13. The McGill University 
(Montreal) conferred on Dr. Harker the honorary degree of LL.D. in 1913. 
He is'at this time President of the Geological Society of London, 1916-17, 
till February, 1918. 

List of Dr. A. Harker’s principal Geological Writings. 

1884. “Graphical Methods in Field Geology” : Geol. Mag., pp. 154-62. 

1885. “The Oolites of the Cave District” :■ Naturalist , pp. 229-32. 

“ The Cause of Slaty Cleavage ” : Geol. Mag., pp. 15-17. 

“On the Successive Stages of Slaty Cleavage ” : ibid., pp. 266*8. 

1886. “ Report on Slaty Cleavage and Allied Rock Structures ” : Rep. 

Brit. Assoc, for 1885, pp. 813-52. 

1887. “On some Anglesey Dykes,” I and II: Geol. Mag., pp. 409-16, 


1888. “ Notes on the Geology of Mynydd Mawr and the Nantlle Valley ” : 

ibid., pp. 221-6. 

“On some Anglesey Dykes,” III: ibid., pp. 267-72. 

“Additional Note on the Blue Hornblende of Mynydd Mawr”: 
ibid., pp. 455-6. 

“ On the Eruptive Rocks of the Neighbourhood of Sarn, Caernarvon¬ 
shire”: Q.J.G.S., vol. xliv, pp. 442-61. 

1889. “Notes on the Physics of Metamorphism ” : Geol. Mag., pp. 15-20. 
“ Local Thickening of Dykes and Beds by Folding”: ibid., pp. 69-70. 
“ Eyes of Pyrites and other Minerals in Slate ” : ibid., pp. 396-7. 
The Bala Volcanic Series of Caernarvonshire (Sedgwick Prize Essay 

for 1888), Svo, Cambridge. 

“Petrological Notes on Boulders from the Boulder-Clays of East 
Yorkshire” : Proc. Yorks. Geol. Soc., vol. xi, pp. 300-7. 

1S90. “Petrological Notes on Some of the Larger Boulders on the Beacli 
South of Flamborough Head ” : ibid., pp. 409-23. 

1891. “The Ancient Lavas of the English Lake District”: Naturalist , 

pp. 145-7. 

“Notes on a Collection of Bocks from the Tonga Islands” : Geol. 
Mag., pp. 250-S. 

(With J. E. Marr.) “ The Shap Granite and the Associated Igneous 
and Metamorphic Rocks” : Q.J.G.S., vol. xlvii,pp. 266-327. 
“Petrological Notes on Rocks from the Cross Fell Inlier” : ibid., 
pp. 512-25. 

“ Thermo-metamorphism in Igneous Rocks ” : Bui. Geol. Soc. Amer., 
vol. iii, pp. 16-22. 

1892. “ Physical Geology in the Basin of the Colorado ” : Natural Science. 

vol. i, pp. 205-10. 

“The Lamprophyres of the North of England,” : Geol. Mag., 
pp. 199-206. 

“ Porpliyritie Quartz in Basic Igneous Rocks” : ibid., pp. 485-8. 

1893. “ Norwegian Boulders in Holderness ” : Naturalist , pp. 1-4. 

“The Use of the Protractor in Field Geology”: Sci. Proc. Roy. 

Dubl. Soc. (n.s.), vol. viii, pp. 12-20. 

(With J. E. Marr.) “Supplementary Notes on the Metamorphic 
Rocks around the Shap Granite”: Q.J.G.S., vol. xlix, pp. 359-71. 
“On the Migration of Material during Thermal Metamorphism”: 
Journ. Geol., vol. i, pp. 574-8. 

“Extinction Angles in Cleavage - Flakes”: Min. Mag., vol. x, 
pp. 239-40. 

“Berthelot’s Principle applied to Magmatic Concentration ” : Geol. 
Mag., pp. 546-7. 


Dr. Alfred Barker, F.R.S. 

1894. “Carrock Fell: a Study in the Variation of Igneous Rocks,” I: 

Q.J.G.S., vol. 1, pp. 311-36. 

“The Evolution of Igneous Rocks”: Science Progress , vol. i, 
pp. 152-5. 

“ Ancient Volcanic Rocks” : ibid., vol. ii, pp. 48-63. 

“ Cordierite in the Lake District” : Geol. Mag., pp. 169-70. 

“ On some Variolitic Rocks on Carrock Fell ” : ibid., pp. 551-3. 

1895. “Carrock Fell : a Study in the Variation of Igneous Rocks,” II and 

III : Q.J.G.S., vol. li, pp. 125-47. 

Petrology for Students : an Introduction to the Study of Rocks under the 
Microscope , 8vo, Cambridge. (Revised editions in 1897, 1902, and 
190S, and French translation in 1902.) 

1896. “ On certain Granophyres, modified by the Incorporation of Gabbro 

Fragments, in Strath (Skye) ” : Q. J.G.S., vol. lii, pp. 320-8. 
“The Natural History of Igneous Rocks. I. Their Geographical 
and Chronological Distribution”: Science Progress (n.s.), vol. i, 
pp. 12-33. 

1898. “The Natural History of Igneous Rocks. II. Their Forms and 

Habits” : ibid., vol. ii, pp. 203-18. 

1899. “ Glaciated Valleys in the Cuillins, Skye” : Geol. Mag., pp. 196-9. 
“On the Average Composition of British Igneous Rocks”: ibid., 

pp. 220-2. 

“ Notes on Subaerial Erosion in the Isle of Skye ” : ibid., 
pp. 4S5-91. 

(With C. T. Clough.) “On a Coarsely Spherulitic (‘Variolitic’) 
Basalt in Skye” : Trans. Edin. Geol. Soc., vol. ii, pp. 381-9. 

1900. “Magnetic Disturbances in the Isle of Skye”: Proc. Camb. Phil. 

Soc., vol. x, pp. 268-78. 

“Igneous Rock-Series and Mixed Igneous Rocks”: Journ. GeoL , 
vol. viii, pp. 3S9-99. 

1901. “On a Question Relative to Extinction-Angles in Rock-Slices”: 

Min. Mag., vol. xiii, pp. 66-8. 

“Ice-Erosion in the Cuillin Hills, Skye”: Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin., 
vol. xl, pp. 221-52. 

“The Sequence of the Tertiary Igneous Rocks of Skye”: Geol. 
Mag., pp. 506-9. 

1903. “The Overthrust Torridonian Rocks of the Isle of Rum, and the 

Associated Gneisses” : Q.J.G.S., vol. lix, pp. 189-215. 

1904. (With C. T. Clough.) The Geology of West Central Skye , with Soay 

(Mem. Geol. Surv. Scot.). 

(With notes by C. T. Clough.) The Tertiary Igneous Rocks of Skye 
(Mem. Geol. Surv. U.K.). 

1905. “The Tertiary Crust-Movements of the Inner Hebrides”: Trans. 

Edin. Geol. Soc., vol. viii, pp. 344-50. 

1906. “The Geological Structure of the Sgurr of Eigg ”: Q.J.G.S., 

vol. Ixii, pp. 40-67. 

“Cordierite in the Metamorphosed Skiddaw Slates”: Naturalist , 
pp. 121-3. 

“A Cordierite-bearing Lava from the Lake District ” : Geol. Mag., 
pp. 176-7. 

1907. “ Notes on the Rocks of the Beagle Collection,” I : ibid., pp. 100-6. 
“Igneous Rock-magmas as Solutions”: Science Progress , vol. ii, 

pp. 239-54. 

1908. (With contributions by G. Barrow.) The Geology of the Small Isles oj 

Inverness-shire (Mem. Geol. Surv. Scot.). 

1909. The Natural History of Igneous Rocks , Svo, London. 

1910. Tables for Calculation of Rock Analyses , Cambridge. 

1912. Presidential Address to Section C (Geology) : Rep. Brit. Assoc, for 
1911, pp. 370-81. 

“Petrology in Yorkshire” (Presidential Address to the Yorkshire 
Naturalists’ Union): Naturalist , pp. 37-44, 69-73. 


C. T. Trechmann—Cretaceous Mollusca 

1912. “ Lamprophyre Dykes in Long Sleddale” : ibid., pp. 266-7. 

1914. “Fractional Crystallization the Prime Factor in the Differentiation 
of Rock-magmas ” : Congr. Geol. Int. Comp.-Rend., xii, pp. 205-8. 

“The Sgurr of Eigg : some Comments on Mr. Bailey’s Paper”: 
Geol. Mag., pp. 306-S. 

“ Some Remarks on Geology in Relation to the Exact Sciences, with 
an Excursus on Geological Time ” (Presidential Address to the 
Yorkshire Geological Society) : Proc. Yorks. Geol. Soc., vol. xix, 
pp. 1-13. 

1916. “Differentiation in Intercrustal Magma - Basins”: Journ. Geol ., 

vol. xxiv, pp. 554-S. 

1917. Presidential Address to the Geological Society of London, delivered 

February 16 (see Reports and Proceedings, Geol. Mag., pp. 191-2, 
April, 1917). 

II.—Cretaceous Mollusca from; New Zealand. 

By C. T. Trechmann, M.Sc., F.G.S. 



WING to incomplete paleontological knowledge, the true age 

u and correlation of the various divisions of the great Mesozoic 
series of New Zealand, which, together with the Maitai Series, forms 
such an important element in the structure of the country, has long 
remained a matter of uncertainty. In consequence the idea has to 
some extent taken hold among New Zealand geologists that the 
Mesozoic faunas, owing to supposed conditions of isolation, show 
archaic features. It was explained that certain Permian forms 
occurred in the Trias and that Trias forms may have persisted into 
Jurassic times, and to a still greater extent that a Cretaceous fauna 
lived on in this portion of the earth into the Tertiary period. 

On going further into these questions I find no support for the 
theory, and in the case of the Cretaceous, a comparison of the fauna 
of the Senonian with corresponding faunas of Australia and especialh r 
of South America shows that the isolated survival theory is un¬ 
tenable. The arguments adduced in its favour apply equally well to 
the Cretaceous of South America and other parts of the Indo-Pacific 
region as they do to New Zealand. 

It must be remembered that the present isolation of New Zealand 
as a land mass is a phenomenon of late geological time. In the 
Permo-Carboniferous period there was as much or more land in the 
Southern Hemisphere as there now is in the Northern. The Cretaceous 
and Tertiary faunas of New Zealand point to a much closer connexion 
with South America than obtains at the present day. The number 
of species of recent Mollusca common to the coasts of New Zealand 
and Tierra del Fuego is now very slight. 

In a paper recently published in this Magazine 2 I showed that the 
Maitai Series contains a fauna which agrees, so far as it goes, exactly 
with that of the marine Permo-Carboniferous of New South Wales 

1 Plate XXI will appear with the second part in the August Number. 

2 “ The Age of the Maitai Series of New Zealand ” : Geol. Mag., N.S., 
Dec. YI, Yol. IV, pp. 53-64, Feb. 1917.